Sueñan los Androides
Emptiness and desolation are immediate themes in the opening sequence of Sueñan los Androides. A series of visually stunning shots distinguish the setting for this daring interpretation of Philip K Dick’s famed novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Dick’s timeless work tells the story of a post-apocalyptic future, greatly damaged by a nuclear war, where most types of animals are endangered or extinct. To own an animal is a sign of status, but what is emphasised more is the emphatic emotions humans experience towards the creatures.
The plot supporting this greater narrative follows a lone bounty hunter on a quest to eradicate six escaped androids as they endeavour to adapt to the human condition. Essentially, the novel explores the issue of what it is to be human. Unlike humans, the androids possess no sense of empathy. In essence, the bounty hunter probes the existence of defining qualities that separate humans from androids.
Spanish filmmaker Ion De Sosa’s contemporary interpretation is set in the town of Benidorm on the southern coast of Spain. It is the year 2052. The apocalyptic poetry of the city, covered in abandoned construction sites and sad reflections of lost capitalist dreams, not only creates the perfect subtle world for the film but also provides a sad examination of current Spain. Covered in cheap skyscrapers and dated glitziness, Benidorm is a town that wasn’t able to keep up with the rest of the country’s rapid economic growth.
The minimal narrative structure is completely subject to the vast emptiness of the setting. Strangely captivating, Sueñan los Androides relies greatly on its visual strength, shot entirely on 16mm film. The immediate imagery of a struggling retro future is fascinating.
De Sosa’s background in contemporary photography is evident in this enjoyable and thought-provoking work. It cleverly sticks to the conventions of a B-movie science fiction film from the 1970s, drawing subtle similarities with films by pioneer auteurs like Jean-Luc Godard and Aki Kaurismaki. It’s a real delight for cinephiles and admirers of progressive visual art.
De Sosa takes the audience on a journey through the sleepy coastal town and into an imaginary world that functions as a mirror, reflecting everyday life and escapism, one’s personal experience and imagination in the same gesture.
Sueñan los Androides does not yet have a UK release date.
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Watch the trailer for Sueñan los Androides here: